where every bitterness becomes sweet and every burden light.”
St. Catherine of Siena
Prot. n. 122/2021
Re: Solemnity of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus – Titular Feast of the Institute
To you who are attracted by the vermillion-colored cross of Christ and have decided to travel the path of love traced out by His outpoured blood, I send peace and joy in the Lord!
On this titular feast day of the Congregation that unites us and makes us brothers and sisters, let us celebrate God’s Love poured into our hearts through the gift of Jesus’ Most Precious Blood, the price of our salvation: the mystery to be welcomed for a deeply transformed existence.
Together as the family of the Blood of Christ, we believe that this source of life nourishes our path and supports our steps, confirming that through every situation we experience, both favourable and unfavourable, joyful and sad, God, in the Fire of his love, reveals the sweet truth of the fulfilment we are called to achieve.
While we are trying to stem this pandemic, which together with our global fragility has strongly pointed out our social differences, lack of brotherhood and sisterhood and mistaken priorities that have wounded our world, systems and structures making many forms of indifference and inequality surface, the spirituality of the Blood of Christ is a response to the human heart in constant search for deep and redemptive meaning to throw new light on all we are experiencing.
In addition, the Encyclical Fratelli Tutti has allowed us not only to better focus on these divisions and discrepancies, but also to feel a lot of familiarity with a language that reminds us of the incarnation of the Word of God, and God’s closeness and proximity to all, which gives the life and dignity expressed by the Blood of Jesus to which we are especially attached.
We firmly believe that the time we are experiencing is truly a propitious, spiritually rich and potentially humanizing time if we take three small, concrete steps in the dynamism of the Blood of Christ:
- “Drink from the wellspring of human dignity and fraternity in the Gospel” (Ft 277)
The Gospel to which we are called to drink has vermilion traits and a strong word: the Blood of Christ. It involves us intimately by encouraging us to follow the “new and living way” that Jesus laid out in his unconditional and total gift of himself. In drinking from this Wellspring of Life, we rediscover the value and profound dignity that makes us belong to the same great human family.
The Blood of the Covenant shed for all in Jesus’ extreme and perennial gift, is the Blood of universal brotherhood, of sisterhood that makes us a family. It is a sign of the life, interiority, and deep bonds that intertwine the existence of each of us and make us co-responsible for each other in a communion that transcends the limits of space and time.
- How does the power of Christ’s Blood motivate me to live universal brotherhood/sisterhood to look toward the future with hope?
- “Be aware of the worth of every human being” (Ft 106)
Drinking from the chalice of the Blood of Christ is recovering the profound dignity each day of beloved persons and being ready to recognize the value of each human being regardless of the circumstances. The all-encompassing love of Jesus, of which His Blood is sign, measure and pledge (MDM) is a strong call to welcome each human being with respect. It is a daily exercise of accepting our own limitations and those of others as a sacred place of humble and deep transformation of our own humanity.
Accepting vulnerability is an opportunity to take charge of one’s life and transform suffering into treasure, into an offering.
Jesus is the vulnerable, wounded God who offers himself in sacrifice to give new meaning to human limitations. His Blood urges us to promote a culture of life that continually affirms the dignity of each person, especially in defending the most vulnerable. This is the path that allows us to radiate love, opens us to reconciliation and makes us blood poured out for the thirst of everyone
- How do I recognize and defend the value of life in the reality I am living?
- “Being in solidarity and caring for life” (Ft 115)
Contemplating the Blood of Christ means letting ourselves be transformed by the crucified Lord, gradually acquiring the same sentiments and attitudes in becoming a servant of humanity.
For those thirsting for justice, peace and hope, for those suffering, afraid and tired, Jesus offers himself as way, truth and life. He makes himself a neighbor to everyone, sharing the journey even to death. To those who know how to grasp the whole in the fragments of life, that mystery of love is still revealed today, present in everything.
We are all challenged to recognize the profound solidarity of God toward humanity in the gesture of Christ’s giving of his blood and to accept the call to get involved for the salvation of our dear neighbor.
Making the cry of the blood rising up from the land audible is to choose solidarity as a concrete response of proximity and closeness. This is where the wounds of love come from: so many gestures of caring, tenderness and compassion, prophetic and courageous choices of so many sisters and brothers, men and women of good will who are ready to be wounded to pay the price of love. When a person loves, he or she is ready to be wounded … to the point of blood.
- What are the wounds of love that I have been willing to pay during this time?
We wish to be in the Church as brothers and sisters enlightened by the Word and clothed in the power of the Blood in order to collaborate with Christ in the transformation of the world. Inspired and sustained by the example of St. Maria De Mattias and St. Gaspar, we, too, want to witness and live the love, tenderness and renewed compassion that Christ’s Blood generates.
Heartfelt best wishes! May the Blood of Christ cover us and, in this River of life, may each of us fully rediscover the ardor of his or her call and mission in the Church and in the world.
In the Blood of the Lamb,
We send loving greetings.
Rome, June 15, 2021
Sr Nadia Coppa, ASC
and Sisters of the General Administration